'Golfer-in-chief' hits 100th round as president
President Barack Obama plays golf with Republican House Speaker John Boehner in Maryland on June 18, 2011.
June 17th, 2012
04:20 PM ET
10 years ago

'Golfer-in-chief' hits 100th round as president

(CNN) – President Barack Obama celebrated Father's Day on Sunday with a round a golf – his 100th as president, according to a calculation by the television travel pool.

Obama marked the milestone with a game at the century-old Beverly Country Club in Chicago, and hit the links with regular partners Eric Whitaker, Marty Nesbitt and Marvin Nicholson. The president was in Chicago to celebrate the wedding of senior adviser Valerie Jarrett's daughter, which took place Saturday, and will fly to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, later Sunday for a meeting of the G-20.

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Obama frequently makes trips to the Washington suburbs to play golf on the weekends – in the past several months he has played the course at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland and Fort Belvoir in Virginia. His partners during the three years he's been in office have included former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Obama's propensity to spend his weekends on the links hasn't gone unnoticed by his Republican rivals. Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, portrayed the golfing as insensitive to the plight of unemployed Americans.

"I must say I scratch my head at the capacity of the president to take four hours off on such a regular basis to go golfing," Romney said in April during a radio interview. "I would think you could kind of suck it up for four years, particularly when the American people are out of work."

Romney said in May that he wouldn't challenge Obama to a round of golf, but instead would compete in his preferred form of recreation – waterskiing.

Despite Romney's criticism, Obama has joined a long line of presidents who enjoy relaxing on the golf course. According to Martin Davis, editor and publisher of The American Golfer, 15 of the past 17 presidents have been golfers.

During Dwight D. Eisenhower's time in office, the five-star general played 210 rounds at Augusta National, home of the Masters. Woodrow Wilson logged 1,000 rounds during his two terms in office, according to Davis.

John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Gerald Ford were all avid golfers, all playing during their time in the White House.

The two Bush presidents – George H.W. and George W. – are both linked to golfing royalty. George Herbert Walker, the elder President Bush's grandfather, donated the Walker Cup, a trophy awarded to the winner of a biannual amateur team contest.

Both Presidents Bush golfed while in office, though George W. Bush cut back on playing during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan out of a show of respect for U.S. troops.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Obama victim

    Why not? Everything in the country is just fine.........what? They're not?

    June 17, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. stars

    Bush never repect anyone if he did all of our men and women in the service would be alive today because of the lies they had to die for those to greedy money hungry evil men Dick and Bush.

    June 17, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. Vicki

    If President Obama relaxes and enjoys playing golf it is his right to do so. Bush was always hiding out in Crawford, TX, or biking, golfing etc. With all the high pressure of his job I am glad that President Obama has found a hobby he likes.

    June 17, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    So? Boener golfs three times as much as Obama, and works 3 days out of 3 weeks. but he whines and gets off the hook.

    June 17, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  5. billy davis

    The GOP is seething. They are trying to pass a law to ban Golf in America because it's a terrorist plot.

    June 17, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  6. Marie MD

    Funny how the only one who gets smacked is President Obama. Even #43 said that he wasn't losing any sleep over bim laden and "watch this swing:"
    I think bo ner probably plays every other day or now that the teapublikkans in the house have decided to work one week and have two weeks off, or vice versa, not that they are doing a darn thing, I guess he can go golf and drink and smoke every day.

    June 17, 2012 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  7. Dale

    Hey politicians, get off the golf course and do your job.

    June 17, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  8. dreamer96

    President Ike was always on the golf course too... and in complete control too..

    You know the White House has micro phones everywhere these days...Obama and the GOP leaders can have a candid conversation on the golf course...

    June 17, 2012 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. Denise

    Are you sure this is supposed to be a story? Obama golfs 100 times in 4 yrs and somehow this makes him insensitive to the plight of citizens? Seriously. So they guy is supposed to work 24/7/365!!? Come on. And challenging Obama to waterskiing is somehow better? CNN – you MUST do better than this drivel! Please.

    June 17, 2012 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  10. Meki60

    how great, a milestone golfer and go with his charlatan ways

    June 17, 2012 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. obamamnesty

    Excellent news reporting! Thanks for reminding us with this wonderful article. I am hoping he enjoyed the round as a history making event as Rome burns.

    June 17, 2012 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  12. Smeagel4T

    He was hoping to golf in Ohio, but Boehner has all the tee-times locked up for himself in Ohio.

    June 17, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  13. marctheduck

    Congratulations President Obama! A great accomplishment for your legacy!

    June 17, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. Ehhh

    I'm glad we have a president that can get things done!

    June 17, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  15. Gene Cole

    Hopefully, come January 2013, President Obama will have plenty of time to pursue his golf habit as an ex-President.

    June 17, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  16. n2video

    Now watch the crazy right-wingnuts' heads explode. They seem to forget, however, this wonderful quote: "I call upon all nations to do everything they can to stop these terrorist killers. Thank you. Now watch this drive." (Swings golf club)
    George W. Bush

    June 17, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. Peter

    Wilson did 1,000 rounds during his administration? And some of that was during World War I?

    I'll bet Obama's 100th round in 3 years and 5 months is probably about average among the golfing presidents of both parties.

    But watch the team zombies lash out anyway.

    June 17, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  18. CBR

    The President needs to have some time away from the job. Even then, there are aides near him on the course, too.

    Mr. Romney needs to find a hobby and find another reason to disagree with the President. He seems to find something wrong with every little thing that the President does or does not do. Give it a rest.

    Mr. Romney rode back into MA on his white stallion as the savior of MA. He in effect, drove Governor Jane Swift out of the race even though he stated he would not do so. The state was in trouble when he got there and was in trouble when he left. Of course, he started campaigning for president almost as soon as he became governor. Always looking for his next position. Never seems to want the job once he gets elected to it.

    June 17, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. Donkey Party

    Republican or Democrat, presidents are entitled to their own downtime. Romney's comments are juvenile at best.

    June 17, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  20. citizen9

    That ain't nothin! I play at least 100 rounds a year.

    June 17, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  21. MikeInCarolina

    You would think that Obama invented golf and was the only POTUS in U.S. history to play it on a regular basis. This is just one more ridiculous double standard. According to Sean Hannity, the First Family also spends too much time on Air Force One or other travel at tax payer's expense. He should be flying coach on commercial planes out of his personal budget. Make no mistake about it, even if Obama did that, Hannity, Rush & Co. would still find something else even more cynical to suggest because they hate Obama and have made careers out of spreading that hate on a 24/7/365 basis.

    June 17, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  22. Name

    Pls go golfing Mr. President. You deserve to get away from the unbelievable stress you endure at your job. I cannot imagine the weight on your shoulders. If being outside chasing that crazy ball helps, go for it! Anybody who protests hasn't walked In your shoes.

    June 17, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  23. Gearloose

    Just think. If Obama isn't re-elected, he can golf all the time instead of almost all the time.

    June 17, 2012 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Golf is a sport that should be avoided. It doesn't really speak well of anyone since there is so much put into the sport that cost so much and does so little for the rest of the area. It comsunes too much in respources to maintain them.

    June 17, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  25. texasgreenacres

    well let's see as everybody keeps saying he's been president for 3 years.And there's 52 weeks in a year 3×52=156 which means he hasn't averaged a full game a week.Now it's a super big job running a country. So don't you think a game a week would be okay? most people get several a week.More than 12 holes anyway.If your gonna complain find a real complaint.And remember who he had in toe with him you know JB and not jim beam either

    June 17, 2012 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
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